Holmdel Committee Sends Lucent Plans Back to Developer
The committee cited a lack of details on this round of the conceptual plans.
Conceptual maps for Holmdel's Alcatel-Lucent property were sent back to the developer after the township's committee asked for more detailed plans.
"I was expecting something a lot more elaborate," Mayor Patrick Impreveduto said. "We're back to the drawing board."
Committee concerns included open space preservation and a lack of traffic studies as well as the size and amount of proposed housing for the property.
Somerset Development proposed two conceptual plans with age restricted housing, a sports complex and and a fitness facility.
Once plan proposed 225 homes, the smallest being over 2,500 square feet. A second plan proposed 225 homes of the same size in a different configuration.
But the plans lacked detail, Impreveduto said. "You got what we got."
Impreveduto told The Independent that he would like to see more plans for the existing Lucent building on the property to include township offices and a recreation facility.
“I want the vista to remain the same, so that when the townspeople drive down Crawford’s Corner Road they wouldn’t see anything except the building. I wouldn’t want to see anything too intrusive, anything that would have a negative impact on that view," Impreveduto told The Independent.
Larry Fink, former Township Committeeman and Holmdel Mayor, said he believes the language of the township's redevelopment plan should be more specific. Fink said he fears Somerset has too much wiggle room with the current plan, and the township will continue having to reject conceptual models.
"We need to guide the developer," Fink said.
Impreveduto assured Fink and other residents in attendance at the Township Committee meeting that the developer has been told what Holmdel is looking for, and specifics will be included in the developer agreement, not the redevelopment plan.
"Believe me, we are not sleeping on this," the mayor said. "We have four lawyers and a team of engineers on the project."
Many residents believe the size and price of housing takes the development off the market for senior citizens, the age group homes are being marketed to.
"The age group that they are theoretically being marketed to doesn't want to buy them," Holmdel resident Ralph Blumenthal said.
The fear among many residents in attendance was that the homes would be built as age restricted homes, but would be put on the market as affordable housing once homes don't sell. Affordable housing opens the development up to qualifying lower income families, which could put further stress on surround traffic and the Holmdel school district.
Deputy Mayor Eric Hinds said the committee can ask for market research to back up pricing models and home sizes, but can't restrict what types of homes are built.
Conceptual planning meetings have been conducted in executive session, but Impreveduto said the committee will keep residents up to date on everything it is legally allowed to speak of during negotiations.
"We're in the early stages, this is the time to send us your ideas."
Residents with suggestions for the property are encouraged to email Township Administrator Maureen Doloughty firstname.lastname@example.org.